Financial comfort hits three-year high

by Maya Breen02 Feb 2015
ME Bank’s latest Household Financial Comfort Report shows Australians feel more financially comfortable than they have in the last three years.

Job availability and security are the major reasons for the rapid 8 per cent increase in financial comfort since the all-time low in July 2014, with a net 22 point rise in job availability and a net 12 point rise in job security.

ME Bank consulting economist and Report co-author Jeff Oughton said, “At that time, financial comfort had taken a negative hit from elevated concerns with the 2014 Federal Budget and its proposed tightening of government assistance, as well as from rising negativity around the job market, low wage growth and falls in savings.
“Fast-forward to December 2014 and the financial psychology of Australian households has changed dramatically for the better.”

Oughton said for the first time since the survey began, there has been a higher response for easily getting a job within two months if unemployed, than difficulty in finding work, a major factor in closing the gap in financial comfort between retirees and all other households.

All labour market segments and generations have experienced a rise in financial comfort and households that are putting away savings each month is high at 46 per cent of all households.

Oughton said the improvement in household savings was another contributor to the rise in financial comfort as well as asset value appreciation.

Regionally, all states and territories have increased in financial comfort except Tasmania, down three per cent and the highest reportedly in New South Wales and Victoria.